new to the flock

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Jaxchix, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Jaxchix

    Jaxchix New Egg

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    Aug 30, 2013
    Hi, newbie here, we raised our first chicks last year and gained more chicks this year. We have them in 2 coops next to each other, so that they are used to seeing each other. We have one rooster from last year, he can a bit of a bully (chasing and pecking) first thing in the morning until he has jumped on a couple of the hens. My first concern is that he will bully/jump on the new hens when I put them in together. My second worry is when to put them in together as the hens from last year are on layer mix and the chicks are on starter. We also have feather loss with all the chickens from last year, neck and bums (inc the rooster). Any advice please!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It's always safest to have them all be about the same size when you mix them. Ideally, do the mixing in a large area with hiding places. The feed is not a problem. You can feed everyone just about anything (starter, grower, flock raiser) except layer. Just offer oyster shell for the laying hens.

    On the feather loss, first question is whether they might have lice/mites. See link for how to diagnose and treat. If they don't, then there is likely some feather picking going on, particularly because of the bare bums. Probably the most common cause of feather picking is boredom/too little space. It can often be corrected, if it's not too firmly ingrained, by letting them forage where there is grass and bugs. Too little protein in the diet can also be a cause. See links.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/517547/peepers-removed-and-no-feather-picking-d/0_20#post_6586027

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697052/i-think-i-found-a-miracle-cure-for-feather-picking/0_20

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html
     
  3. Jaxchix

    Jaxchix New Egg

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    Aug 30, 2013
    thankyou, thats great.
     

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